Thursday, October 15, 2015

Are You a Fly or a Bee? ( St. Paisios )

Which of the following two categories fits you. Are you a fly or a bee? This was a question Elder Paisios asked guests who came to him accusing others of various things.

He says,

I know from experience that in this life people are divided in two categories. A third category does not exist; people either belong to one or the other. the first one resembles the fly. the main characteristics of the fly is that it is attracted by dirt. For example, when a fly is found in a garden full of flowers with beautiful fragrances, it will ignore them and will go sit on top of some dirt found on the ground.

It will start messing around with it and feel comfortable with the bad smell. if the fly could talk, and you asked it to show you a rose in the garden, it would answer: "I don't even know what a rose looks like. I only know where to find garbage, toilets, and dirt." there are some people who resemble the fly. People belonging to this category have learned to think negatively, and always look for the bad things in life, ignoring and refusing the presence of good.

The other category is like the bee whose main characteristic is to always look for something sweet and nice to sit on. When a bee is found in a room full of dirt and there is a small piece of sweet in a corner, it will ignore the dirt and will go to sit on top of the sweet. Now, if we ask the bee to show us where the garbage is, it will answer: "I don't know. I can only tell you where to find flowers, sweets, honey and sugar; it only knows the good things in life and is ignorant of all evil."

This is the second category of people who have a positive thinking, and see only the good side of things. They always try to cover up the evil in order to protect their fellow men; on the contrary, people in the first category try to expose the evil and bring it to the surface.

When someone comes to me and starts accusing other people, and puts me in a difficult situation, i tell him the above example. then I ask him to decide to which category he wishes to belong, so he may find people of the same kind to socialize with.

Source: Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, pp 43-44

A Word From Saint Nektarios to Future Priests

The following is taken from an address given by St. Nektarios when he was first assigned dean of Rizarios Ecclesiastical School.

“My children, in each of you there exists a future priest, an important element of the history and future life of our suffering country. You should be proud to wear your cassocks (anteri). Pray to the Almighty that He grants you the ability to serve His Church, for this vocation is not merely a job but is a mission which begins on earth and continues in heaven. Please heed these humble words and may your souls continuously shine with the eternal truths of our Holy Gospel…

“My children, I also want you to be proud of our Orthodox faith.

Orthodoxy is our treasure, our priceless pearl, if you will. Orthodoxy is also the light that guides us. If we were ever to lose this treasure, this light, then we would be scattered to the ends of the earth like dust, ceasing to exist as a people and as a nation. There are so many aspects of our treasure that I want to share with you, but our time today does not permit it. We will, however, have the chance to explore these aspects in future lectures.

Today, I would like to touch upon some other thoughts that I would like to share with you. My children, our lives begin like a clean piece of slate. It is up to us to determine what will be written on that slate. If on this virtues and good God-fearing acts are written, then we have lived up to our divine mission…

“So my children, I hope that from this day on we will live together as one family in Jesus Christ. We should, in essence, create a blessed brotherhood. I promise that I will stand by your side always as a spiritual father. As I close my talk to you today, may I comment on something which bothers me.

I have noticed that almost all of you are beardless. Why are you shunning this natural and beautiful tradition? Do not be swayed by the Europeans. We Greek Orthodox have our own traditions, which date back to the Apostles and early Fathers of the Church. I ask that you follow their manly examples, and hold yourselves to it. Do it for the struggles and hardships they endured for the early Church. This is, after all, the least we can do.”

Source: Saint Nektarios: The Saint of Our Century, Sotos Chrondropoulos, Holy Trinity - St. Nekatarios Convent: Aegina